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About Us

Meet the board

The Polar Bear Scholarship Fund’s vision has been developed by the Board of Directors over the past 15 years and has evolved to what it is today. Up to 15 people serve on the board and the common goal is to raise and distribute donor funds to deserving North High students to further their education. It seems that these board members start out to be helpful to reach the goal and find that they become emotionally attached to these students over time and find that it is a very positive and affirming experience. If you need to be “sold” to consider working on this program in any capacity, feel free to talk to a member of the board.

Heather (Burr) Isaacson

President

Class of 1993

Heather was involved in Theatre, Student Council, and Upward Bound while at North. She graduated from Central College in Pella, IA with a B.A. in Sociology and Theatre/Communications. She has worked in the field of education, college access, and nonprofit for over 20 years. She is currently the Director of Programs for By Degrees Foundation in Des Moines, serving Findley Elementary, Harding Middle, and North High Schools. Heather enjoys time outdoors and/or traveling with her spouse and daughter.

Kristin Warrick

Secretary

Class of 1993

After graduation at North, Kristin went to the University of Northern Iowa for 3 semesters and then transferred to American Institute of Business where she graduated in 1996 with an Associates Degree in Accounting and Business Administration. While finishing up at AIB, Kristin worked part-time at Principal Financial Group and was hired on full time after graduation. She still works at Principal and is a Sr. Client Service Manager where she manages the day-to-day functions of Pension and 401K Plans. Kristin’s son Trey also graduated from North in 2015.

Craig Millhollin

Treasurer

Class of 1963

Craig graduated from Iowa State University with a Business Degree. He owned and Operated Badower’s Clothing from 1978 – 1995. Craig then worked as a financial advisor from 1998 until he retired in 2015. Craig and Marilyn have been married for 53 years. They have 3 adult children and 10 grandchildren. His family and some volunteer non-profit work keeps him occupied today.

Ernie Rose

Class of 2005

After graduation Ernie went on to Drake University where he graduated summa cum laude (2009) and The University of Iowa College of Law, order of the coif (2012). Ernie is now a partner at the law firm of Drost Kivlahan McMahon & O’Connor in the suburbs of Chicago where he lives with his wife and two young children.

Amitie (Gilbert) Keuning

Class of 1998

Amitie graduated from Upper Iowa University in 2003 with her B.S. in Finance, and has worked in the transportation and logistics industry, the insurance industry, and the advertising and media industry. Her positions have ranged from Financial Analyst to Accounting Supervisor to her current position as Business Systems Analyst. Amitie understands that life circumstances don't always make it easy to experience achievements, but with support, motivation, and belief, a person can accomplish many things. Her hope is that by participating in the Polar Bear Scholarship Committee, she can be a part of providing that support to hard-working students and help them reach the next level.

Emily (Gould) Chafa

Class of 1978

Emily participated in every musical and play during her two years at North High School. She sang in the choir, played trombone in the band and was a cheerleader her senior year. She was also in Student Council her senior year. After graduation at North, Emily attended Wartburg College for one year, then received her B.A. from Drake University in 1982. She went on to received her Juris Doctor Degree from Loyola Chicago School of Law in 1987. Emily was a lawyer and administrative law judge for many years.  Now retired from the State of Iowa, she is actively involved in several professional organizations, church choir and committees, and community groups like the Polar Bear Scholarship Fund.

Jill McCarty

Class of 1972

Jill graduated from North in 1972.  She is retired now and previously worked as an Investigator for The Iowa Civil Rights Commission and The Des Moines Human Rights Commission.  In college she also worked for Northwest Airlines, but her career was in Education.  Jill taught Elementary School for 3 years and was a School Guidance Counselor for 20 years. Jill attended DMACC, ISU, and Drake University.

Diana Waterbury

Class of 1960

Diana graduated from the University of Iowa with a BS in Nursing in 1964. She was a public health nurse for Los Angeles County and later San Diego County. Diana was married to a Pediatric Anesthesiologist and raised 3 daughters in Minneapolis, MN. Diana also spent some time as a school nurse for Hopkins School District. Sadly, her husband passed away in 2009 and she has lived in Urbandale for the past 6 years.

Tabitha Meyers

Class of 1992

Tabitha is an Accountant at Farm Bureau Financial Services. 

Rob Stout

Class of 1993

Rob works at Principal Financial Group. He lives in Norwalk with his wife and children. 

Stacy Lovan

Class of 1997

Stacy works at Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield in Des Moines. 

Non-board member volunteers

Theresa Chivers

Class of 1993

Theresa was involved in Theatre and Upward Bound while a student at North. She lives in Des Moines with her spouse David who also graduated from North in 1994. They have two children; one just graduated and one currently attends school in DMPS. Theresa continues to volunteer as bookkeeper for PBSF after serving two terms on the board.

A. Ross Jones

Friend of North High School

Ross graduated from Drake University with an MBA in Enterprise Risk Management, and Western Governors University with and MS in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. He works at Berkshire Hathaway Energy as the Global Cybersecurity Operations Manager where he supports 11 major utilities across the world and HomeServices of America. Since 2009, youth development and leadership has held a soft spot in his heart since he one benefited from the same support and guidance that PBSF seeks to provide North High students today. Ross has been involved with the PBSF board for over six years as a legacy to his grandmother and great uncle whom attended North High School.

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Applications will reopen again next year.

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